I bought a kilo of this rice last year from a Sri Lankan shop, thinking it would be an interesting variation to try out. Of course, me being me, the bag of muthu samba rice sat in a box from the moment it arrived home. I didnt get around to cooking it until today when I thought I’d try something different.
Oh boy, did I ever get something different!
I cooked one cup of muthu samba rice with two cups of water. I didnt smell the uncooked rice - why would I? As far as I'm concerned, other than basmati, no other rice smells mouthwatering in its uncooked state. (If I'm wrong, educate me, people!) Anyway, when I opened the cooker and took the lid off the container in which I'd cooked the rice, I got a whiff of something really unpleasant. I didnt for one moment think that it was from the container itself, until I bent over it and took a deep breath of the cooked rice.
It smelt awful. Like something gone bad, actually. I couldn’t believe that rice could stink like that, and I could see no reason why it should. Dry uncooked rice cant go bad, right? It’s not something that would decay like organic matter. Sure, rice acquires weevils and worms in humid climates, but even then the rice doesn’t actually stink, does it?
I couldn’t figure out why it smelt so bad. I thought the reek would diminish if the rice cooled a little, but it didn’t. I even tried eating a little mixed with sambar, so see if it would mask the smell – but my sambar proved ineffective. The rice tasted as horrible as it smelt. (In case you’re wondering, it was vendakkai (okra) sambar. Not a flavour you can overpower easily in the normal course of events.)
I really don’t know why this should be so. I’m reluctant to try cooking it again the way I did. I certainly dont want to try making idlis or dosas with it. Two cups of water for one cup of rice proved too much, by the way – the rice was swimming after being cooked! What I’d like to know – and if anybody out there has any information, I’d be really grateful – is:
- How do you cook this rice? Does it need soaking beforehand?
- Is it MEANT to smell like that? Is it a Sri Lankan speciality that I’m ignorant of and unaccustomed to? Is it unpleasant only to my nose or something?
- If it’s not meant to be smelly when cooked, how do you cook it so that the smell is removed?
I don’t want to throw away the remaining rice if I can help it – I hate the idea of wasting rice. (I had to throw away the cooked rice, albeit with a heavy heart.)
So, any ideas, anybody?